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Eric J. Bolland and Carlos J. Lopes

The focus of this chapter is on joint impacts of 17 factors that may affect performance. The 17 factors are assessed by factor analysis to help determine if there are underlying factors in performance undetected in the initial analysis. From that, five principal components are developed and analyzed. Team effectiveness, employee satisfaction and human resource management practices are all highly correlated with each other. That accounts for 16 percent of variance in the results. CEO tenure is highly correlated with other factors and explains 14 percent of variance. Marketing and R & D which is highly correlated with innovation accounts for 10 percent of the variation. Operations management explains 9 percent of the variance. Ethical reputation is responsible for 9 percent of variance. Together with other variables, six components explain 66 percent of variance, meaning that underlying performance factors were identified and their impact on performance was significant. In related findings, labor effectiveness has a strong positive effect on decision success while CEO tenure is not a predictor of success.

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Eric J. Bolland and Carlos J. Lopes

How recommendations can help businesses is introduced. Recommendations can help improve decisions and produce expected results. Recommendations are different based on size of firm and reasons for this are presented. Specific recommendations for smaller firms and other recommendations are made for larger firms. Recommendations are also made on decision making tools. These tools should be proven as acceptable, objective and accurate. The tools are specified next. When to use the tools and not use the tools is explained in a table. The deficiencies of some of the tools are highlighted. Building a culture of sound decision making is explained. A tool for recording decision effectiveness is described.

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Eric J. Bolland and Carlos J. Lopes

The characteristics of business performance are presented. The standards of what business performance should be are enumerated. Issues of performance measurement are described in detail. In addition, there is a list of specific problems of performance measurement. Perspectives on performance from business theorists and researchers are discussed. The CEO impact on performance is examined. The characteristics of high-performing businesses are presented. The factors affecting performance are analyzed. Boards of governance and business performance are assessed. The matters of ethics and business performance are explored. Innovation and performance is investigated as a subject. There are observations on performance. A summary of key findings from the literature on business performance factors is also contained in the chapter.

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Eric J. Bolland and Carlos J. Lopes

Although some performance factors have been found to be related to decisions, most are unknown. On performance factors, smaller firms report sales revenue, employee productivity and customer loyalty as important measures of success. Larger companies mainly use revenues and other financial measures. Market standing is used as well. Innovation is measured used but is measured differently in firms. Manager development was used as a performance by real-world participants. Corporate social responsibility is a factor described by respondents but not found to be statistically significant. Who sets performance standards is a concern of interviewed CEOs. When CEOs make disastrous decisions, they tend to leave. A strategic orientation and building a learning organization are antidotes for poor decisions. Concealed CEO decisions are addressed. Decision failures are sources to CEO ethics, too ambitious growth, human management, product line management and new market entry. The revised conceptual model of decisions and performance is described.

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Eric J. Bolland and Carlos J. Lopes

The value of having a model of decisions and performance is described. Without a model, there is no guiding path to discovery. The core of the model is decision followed by performance. Organizational decision making is formalized and recorded. The model should represent reality as closely as possible. The process of modeling is: build model, apply model, analyze results, confirm or reject model. Considerations in modeling are discussed including elusive decision making, and poor assumptions. Deceptive and concealed decisions are addressed.

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Eric J. Bolland and Carlos J. Lopes

The aim of the book to learn more about successful and unsuccessful business decisions. Business decisions are consequential. Poor business decisions cause poor performance. Part of the purpose is to address the connection between business decisions and business performance. Decision making is defined in this chapter. Decision making involves risk. The chapter identifies those who make business decisions. Strategic business decisions are defined and tactical decisions are defined and differentiated. The evolution of business decisions is reviewed. The importance of exploring the book’s topic is explicated. Levels of decision making are described. Problems with decision making and performance measurement are discussed. The chapter also presents the plan for the remaining chapters.

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Eric J. Bolland and Carlos J. Lopes

Research sources were business owners and manager interviews and case studies of larger companies. For interviewees, they determined what successful and what unsuccessful decisions were. They provided the examples of successful and unsuccessful decisions. Respondents were asked from a list of 17 factors, which academic researchers proposed as causing positive performance, which applied to their examples. The interviewees were asked which factor was the most important in their experience. Most said it was no single factor but 26 offered a factor. The most repeated factor was high value products to customers. Differences were found between the interview results and the case studies.

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Eric J. Bolland and Carlos J. Lopes

The impact of a firm’s prior performance is not significant as a performance factor. Weak relationship on commitment to ethics. No relation between positive outcomes and innovation or sharing resources. Strong relationship between team effectiveness. Employee satisfaction is a reason for better performance as is human resource management practices. No relationship between level of competition and performance. Data-driven decision making and performance is related but not statistically significant. Decision speed is more likely in unsuccessful performance. Further analysis showed the following factors associated with stronger performance: team effectiveness, resource sharing across units, data-driven decisions, employee satisfaction, board of director’s influence, and CEO autonomy.

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Eric J. Bolland and Carlos J. Lopes

Choices and decisions are differentiated. Steps of deciding and choosing are presented. The manager’s role in decisions is discussed. Roles of entrepreneurs, disturbance handlers and resource allocators are explained. The number of business decisions is shown. The types of business decisions such as programmed and non-programmed are presented. Also, decision making levels are described. From practice, tips on decision making from practitioners are enumerated. Examples of strategic decisions in small companies are given. Also, examples of strategic decisions in medium and large sized companies are also shown. Considerations for all sized businesses in decision making are offered. Common themes of academic and practical sources on decision making are described. Type I and Type II thinking about decisions are described. The evolution of corporate decision makings is reviewed and the Carnegie model of decision making is explained.

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Eric J. Bolland and Carlos J. Lopes

This breakthrough study examines how business decisions explain successful and unsuccessful performance. Real world and academic research is evaluated, including interviews and cases studies, to create a model of how decisions and performance are connected for businesses of all sizes. Recommendations are made to optimize decision making and projections about the future of decision making and performance are provided.